Acts 4:1-4 ESV
“And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.”
Why so Annoyed?
So, why were they so annoyed? Well, for one, I believe the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection from the dead. But was it just that? Surely not. The Sadducees, the Pharisees, the Scribes, the priests and the captain of the temple were mostly all opposed to Jesus Christ when he walked this earth, and they were most likely all involved in plotting and carrying out his death. And there were many reasons they hated him.
Some of them hated Jesus because they were jealous of him and they were threatened by his temporary popularity among the people who were following him, fearing that their own positions of power might be in jeopardy. And they didn’t like it that he healed people on the Sabbath, but they were being hypocritical about that, for they would rescue an animal on the Sabbath, apparently.
They didn’t like Jesus because he didn’t play by their rules, a lot of which were things added to the law or, again, they were being hypocritical. They especially did not like him because he claimed to be God, which is who he is. And they didn’t like his sermons, for he confronted them in their sins, and he called out their hypocrisy, and he called the people to repentance (turning away from sin) and to obedience to Christ. They resented him for this.
So, I feel certain that these religious rulers were not opposed to the disciples just on their own merit alone, but because they represented Jesus Christ and all that he stood for. For the disciples were continuing the Lord’s ministry on the earth, which defeated the rulers plans they had for when they had Jesus crucified. For death did not stop Jesus. He rose again, and now he lives in his followers, and so his ministry continues on in and through us.
They Arrested Them
Now, if you are continuing Jesus’ ministry he had on the earth, for you are sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, which he taught, and so you are calling people to turn from their sins and to obey the Lord, you are going to be treated in a similar manner to how he was treated. And who were his greatest opponents and persecutors? They were rulers and people of influence in the temple of God who had power over the people.
So, don’t be surprised that if your life is given over to Jesus Christ to follow him in his ways, and so you are walking in his footsteps, if you face much opposition from the religious, i.e. from others who call themselves Christians and from pastors and elders and deacons in church congregations. Now in America (so far) they may not arrest you for sharing the gospel, but they do have ways of silencing you so that your voice can’t be heard.
For in our day and time here in America the true gospel is largely being rejected and it is being replaced with a cheap substitute. And this cheap substitute for the true gospel is teaching people that all they have to do is claim they believe in Jesus and now their sins are forgiven and heaven is guaranteed them when they die, and how they live on this earth will not impact their eternal security.
But that is not what Jesus and his New Testament Apostles taught. They taught that we must die with Christ to sin and live to God and to his righteousness, and that we must no longer live as slaves to sin but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness. And they taught that we must walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands or we don’t have eternal life with God. And sin must no longer be what we practice.
So, if you are teaching what Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught (in context), you are likely to be rejected in these market-driven institutional churches where they are mostly all teaching the cheap substitute for God’s true grace. So, you may be booted out or asked to leave or accused falsely of what you did not do. But since most of these “churches” have rejected the true gospel, most of them are not going to like it if you are sharing the truth, for the truth offends people, and they don’t want to offend people.
Now God used this situation for good. Despite the fact that the apostles were arrested, it did not discourage people from believing in Jesus Christ. The number of men alone came to about five thousand. That is not counting the women and the children. And this reminds me of Paul’s words when he said:
“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Philippians 1:12-14).
So don’t be discouraged if you are getting stomped on because you are still holding to the truth of the gospel as Jesus and as his New Testament apostles taught it. For God has ways of using what appears to be bad for good. And I know he did that in my life. I kept getting rejected in these market-driven institutional churches for holding on to the truth of the gospel and for standing against evil.
So, the Lord Jesus sent me to the internet to share what he was teaching me from his word each day. And there, so far, I have mostly had the freedom to share the true gospel, although not in all locations. And these writings are going out to people across the world. And people are reading these writings, and although I don’t know how God is using them in most people’s lives, I know that his word will not return empty, but it will accomplish the purpose for why it was sent.
So, don’t be discouraged if you get rejected because you are still believing the gospel of the Scriptures and because you have not conformed to the world in accepting the cheap substitute for God’s true grace. For God’s grace, which is bringing us salvation, is training us to say “No!” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s soon return (Titus 2:11-14).
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Servant of the Lord
An Original Work / July 26, 2012
Based off Romans 1:1-17
Servant of the Lord;
For the gospel you’re set apart.
Promised through the prophets of old:
Jesus, Son of God.
Through Him, and for His name alone,
We receive His grace
To call people, Him to obey;
Coming from their faith.
You belong to Christ;
Loved by God, and called to be saints;
Serving God with whole heart and mind;
Preaching Jesus Christ;
Always praying for others’ needs;
Helping hand to lend;
Giving courage to others’ faith,
For the praise of God.
Servant of the Lord;
Of the gospel, I’m not ashamed;
For salvation, power of God
To those who have faith.
In the gospel find righteousness:
Being right with God.
Turn from sin, and trust Jesus Christ.
By faith, live in Him.